Q&A with Tim — On Happiness, Dating, Depressive Episodes, and Much More (#390)

Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show, where it is my job to sit down with world-class performers of all different types to tease out the habits, routines, favorite books, and so on that you can apply and test in your own life. This time, we have a slightly different episode.

As many of you know, I tested a “fan-supported model” earlier in the year, but I ended up reverting back to ads. That’s a long story, and you can read more about that at tim.blog/podcastexperiment. One of the bonuses that I offered to supporters was a live Q&A with me, and this audio is from the first round that we did.

We covered 40 or so questions! It was a lot of fun, the questions were great, and while it was scheduled as a one-hour session, we went for longer.

I answered questions on dating, depressive episodes, major life transitions, networking, uncoupling happiness from achievement, what I would hypothetically ask Richard Feynman, and much, much more.

Please note that there were a few small glitches in the audio when the connection was poor. That’s one of the unfortunate risks of doing these live sessions. We’ve cleaned it up and it’s not too bad.

I also want to reiterate how grateful I am to everyone who contributed to and supported the podcast, as well as to all of you who listen to the podcast. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without you, so thank you.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, StitcherCastbox, or on your favorite podcast platform.

#390: Q&A With Tim — On Happiness, Dating, Depressive Episodes, and Much More

This podcast is brought to you by Peloton, which has become a staple of my daily routine. I picked up this bike after seeing the success of my friend Kevin Rose, and I’ve been enjoying it more than I ever imagined. Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that brings live studio classes right to your home. No worrying about fitting classes into your busy schedule or making it to a studio with a crazy commute.

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Want to hear another episode that had me answering listeners’ questions? — Give this one a listen, in which I tackled how to reassess existing projects, how to learn to care less about what other people think, how to ask better questions, and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download):

#330: The Return of Drunk Dialing Q&A: How to Ask Better Questions, Take Better Risks, and More!

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.




  • Am I still working on the self-love book with Greg McKeown? [07:15]
  • Alzheimer’s plus psychedelics latest research. Do I have a current stack for preventative, or would I try on a family member with Alzheimer’s? [08:00]
  • If I were 24 years old today and living in New York City, how would I approach dating? What assumptions or rules are important, and how can someone become more successful with dating? Is it possible to train yourself to be more confident? [09:15]
  • Do I still get depressive episodes? If yes, what are my top three tips for living with them? [15:32]
  • What would I suggest to an individual considering a major life transition — example given: stable, successful career to entrepreneur? What were my key considerations? [18:55]
  • Do I have a process or tool that helps me read so many books? [20:29]
  • Do the workouts in The 4-Hour Body still apply to someone on a keto diet instead of the slow-carb diet that was originally featured in the book? [25:04]
  • If I started out creating an automated cash flow optimized business today (as outlined in The 4-Hour Workweek), what would be the route I’d take given the tools and tech of 2019? [28:21]
  • Given what is known about the benefits of intermittent fasting, do I still stand by the 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up recommendation from The 4-Hour Body? [31:06]
  • Podcasts are getting competitive and crowded. Will there be a shift in my strategy to remain competitive? [35:58]
  • How do I network and get connected to people with whom I have no prior connection? Do I simply continue to provide value until they bring me into their circle? [39:13]
  • I rarely talk politics. Is this a policy of mine? What’s my thought process behind this? Do I have any tips on addressing controversial topics elegantly? [41:45]
  • If I had to pick one interview from the many in Tools of Titans, which one would I choose and why? [44:59]
  • Why don’t I do Tim Ferriss conferences? [45:35]
  • General advice for a 23-year-old? [46:36]
  • Do I drink a glass of wine every night? [49:21]
  • Everybody talks about the same things for reaching your goals: persistence, grit, focus, etc. What are the things — particularly the ugly (or at least less sexy) things — nobody talks about? [51:30]
  • Thoughts on the ad-free podcast experiment from a sustainability standpoint, and what trends I saw after the initial announcement. [58:59]
  • After listening to the latest interview with Josh Waitzkin (episode 375), it seems crucial to know what kind of learner you are. How does one determine this? [1:01:08]
  • My note-taking format when reading books with an eye to retaining and accessing key takeaways. [1:04:21]
  • How might someone get away from a goal-oriented mindset in which happiness becomes dependent on achievement? [1:04:43]
  • Have I ever considered having Jordan Peterson on the podcast? What are my thoughts on his carnivore diet? [1:08:52]
  • If I could go back and add one question to my list of questions asked in Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors, what would it be and why? [1:09:10]
  • In the interview with Jocko Willink, I said I initially wanted complete freedom, but realized that was too stressful and really wanted positive constraints instead. Could I elaborate? [1:09:36]
  • In reference to my latest Josh Waitzkin interview with the MIQ (Most Important Question gap analysis) how does one go about trusting the unconscious or subconscious release to bring insight? [1:13:07]
  • Should I try a more focused Q&A centered around a specific topic? And who is this Molly? [1:14:43]
  • How can you build patience apart from meditation? [1:15:21]
  • How did I meet Jerry Colonna, and what insights did I take away from my interview with him? [1:17:54]
  • Do I plan on interviewing Karlie Kloss? (Actually…) [1:20:26]
  • How do I balance growth and learning with mental rest in order to avoid overwhelm as I pursue personal growth? [1:20:44]
  • What advice would I put on a billboard? [1:23:37]
  • Any recommendations for someone heading to Austin in a few weeks for his bachelor party? [1:23:51]
  • What does my cooking look like these days? [1:24:31]
  • If I could ask Richard Feynman any question, what would it be? [1:25:20]
  • If they don’t already, which of my past guests do I think should have their own podcast ? What benefits might you enjoy by starting your own? [1:25:48]
  • Another recommendation for the Austin-bound bachelor party. [1:26:40]
  • Stacey Phillips gets an O for awesome! [1:26:54]
  • A truth I believe with which few might agree. [1:27:13]
  • Am I still fluent in all the languages I have learned? [1:29:27]
  • Do I still drink coffee? [1:31:18]
  • What’s on my current reading list? [1:32:13]
  • What is my current morning routine? [1:33:11]
  • Austin life compared to San Francisco? [1:35:57]
  • What advice would I give to my 42-year-old self if he were starting from zero? Does it differ from the advice I would give to my 23-year-old self? [1:36:17]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:37:36]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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30 Replies to “Q&A with Tim — On Happiness, Dating, Depressive Episodes, and Much More (#390)”

  1. Hi Tim,

    Question for you! When weighing between two options in a life-changing decision, what method do you use to make your decision? Thanks!

    1. Hi Morgan,

      When I hear someone weighing two options, I’m reminded of what I read in “Decisive : How to make better choices in life and work”. To paraphrase, there are almost always more than two choices (and the authors give concrete advice on how to find them). Highly recommended read.

  2. You got me thinking more about my long game and feeling positive about my level of sensitivity. The world often feels overwhelming, I am an INFJ that absorbs and overthinks. I like the idea of embracing the input and attuning. It is a fine tool to wield, thanks for reminding me to romance my super power : )

  3. LOL…when you said shame is a good motivator. I was brought back to my career as a raft guide. I am a very petite woman and the bigger, beefier dudes that ended up in my boat would often not heed my paddle commands. After many attempts to get them to listen, shame in front of the group got them in line every time!

  4. Great discussion! I had to write to recommend you talk to National Geographic Explorer Albert Lin. Lost his leg in a car accident, psilocybin cured his phantom limb pain in one session, and now he’s back to traveling the world, has a new series on searching for lost cities with modern technology, and is doing all kinds of amazing work (including looking at how psychedelics can be used to treat chronic pain conditions). Sure you’d have many, many things to talk about!

  5. Is it possible to do the kindle read for free for the four hour chef? I bought all four of your other books, but that particular one is next to impossible to find where I live for some reason.

  6. I’ve been following you for who knows how many years since viewing your first TED talk and never commented on a favourite blog item, mainly as one item never stood out from another as you always have a couple of interesting offerings. Realizing that I felt I should send a thank you for all you do, particularly your honesty and generosity.

    A fellow traveller.

  7. Really enjoyed this one! Was actually waiting to hear you talk from your own perspective again on how to specifically deal with all kinds of things. You habe so many great guests that it hardly ever comes to purely your perspective – at least that’s how I perceive it.

    Having you answer these things is in my eyes way superior over those episodes with cut together gold nuggets from different interviews. Because after all you did, you became a basket full of gold nuggets. And that totally came through once again in this format. Thanks for that 🙂 keep up the good work

  8. Hi Tim,

    I have not listened to the latest podcast but will do so shortly. I was not sure the best way to reach you but this seemed to be the most obvious. I just wanted to tell that you and your books and your podcast changed my life and have made me so much happier and loving and enabled to lead much more fulfilled life. I am eternally grateful to you and hope that one day I can do for you what you have done for me. Thank you, TF. You are an epic creature and I am so stoked you were born. ✊

  9. Not related to this particular podcast, but just read your five Friday bullets, and “the spirit moved me” 😉 to say THANK YOU for all the listening, reading and thinking that you have provided me with over the years. My life is better for it! Wishing you all the best.

  10. Hi Tim,

    Loved the Q&A. Listened with my daughter who struggles with depression and it was just what she needed to hear. Thank you 🙂


  11. Hi Tim,

    Usually listening to your podcasts on and off right now depending on some criteria because you’re definitely continuing to be very consistent with creating content.

    However, this type of Q&A’s are an immediate download/listen. I feel as if they are packed with value and if I’m not mistaken this is one of the few times when you went wider rather than deep, which is also a great approach due to the sheer volume of questions you can go through. By covering so many topics I’m sure that almost everyone relates to some questions and then can continue researching if there’s a similar issue in their life.

    Looking forward to other types of episodes like this, although I’m not sure if you recorded more than 1 during that donation period.

    ~ Felix Dragoi

  12. Hi, Tim

    I’ve been working in marketing at the same company for nearly 25 years. I like my job, I work for a great company, and I’m in a really good position. However, I’m 50 and more ready than ever to leave the corporate world to be creative and do my own thing. I’ve been journaling and Venn diagramming what I love to do, what I’m great at, and what makes me feel fulfilled. I’m guessing you have a process, or at least some great advice, for how someone at this stage can proceed with the best chance for success. I’d love to hear your thoughts!



  13. Hi Tim

    Keep up the good work, I really enjoy your podcast and your weekly email!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights with the world!

  14. Hi Tim,

    Firstly, thanks for all the great work you are doing, promoting the awareness of strategies & tactics to improve peoples lives. Please continue on the good work!

    I regularly follow your podcast & have come across a number of episodes regarding depression & how to possibly find a cure. Your recent investments in the research related to psylocibin is truly exemplary & I do hope that this will help to alleviate many mental disorders across the globe.

    I am reaching out to you for some advice on a cure for depression. My 22 year old son has been suffering from genetic depression for a number of years & having tried several antidepressants along with therapy, so far noting has worked.

    We are desperately trying to find a cure for him, I am know that you too have suffered from genetic depression for which you did find a cure.

    I would really appreciate your help, advise on the possible avenues we can explore to find our only son a cure. We live in the United Kingdom.

    Thank you so much.

    Yours for ever grateful,

  15. Really appreciated the breakdown of your daily routine! I suggest that you try Rocketbook instead of paper in the sauna

    I use this to write songs when I’m outside and need something more waterproof. Plus you can erase and scan it direct to your favourite folder

    Keep them coming


  16. Thanks for Awareness book recommendation! Have you read The Marriage of Spirit? You may like it (in particular the exercises, part 2 of book).

    [Moderator: link removed.]

  17. I also enjoyed hearing about your current daily routine. Do you have goals for how you divide your time between productive work, socializing, learning stuff, working out, etc?

  18. Hi Tim

    Concratulation on this epsisode! Could you please explain in detail how you manage to read many books in a short period of time by using the Kindle? How do you use Evernote in this context and how do you search and find your comments?



  19. Love the David Tua reference – O for awesome is still a pretty common piece of my vocab..!

    I am guessing that your knowledge of kiwi verbal slip-ups come from chris from athletic greens?!

  20. Life is short, no? I have a gorgeous, complicated life that I am wildly grateful for. Every need is met. I am surrounded by love and true kindness. This support has enabled me to do good in this world in an exponential way.

    My best friend, who is beautiful and bright, deserves all these things and more. I love her like a sister. Dating in LA requires nerves of steel. She has a brave and wonderous heart. Heather is profoundly creative, generous, and wise. She is graceful and tender. She loves my children fiercely and with abundant joy. I would move heaven and earth for her, which is why I am sending you a message on this, very public, blog.

    You should meet her. I have thought this for a long time, but got your email and thought- today is the day.

    Everyone can schedule and organize and fine tune their strategies, but what is the point without true love?

    Sending you all good things and the courage for a bold and unprecedented move, if, indeed, you are aspiring to expand your heart’s territory.

    P.S. She would straight up flip if she knew I wrote this, but Moms need to do what needs to be done for the good of all.

  21. Hi Tim,

    I’m John Comer, big fan of your work. Your question discussed in this episode involving legacy and your search for burial ideas reminded me of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, artist, architect and ecologist. Real interesting guy. Long story short he decided to be buried in New Zealand in the ground with a Tulip tree planted on top of him so it would grow though his body. It is called the “Garden of the Happy Dead.” If you are ever in Amsterdam there is a Hundertwasser museum that has a lot of information about this.

    Anyway hope it helps.

    Thanks always for your awesome work.

    PS…any chance of an interview with Jordan Peterson soon? I think it would be fascinating for listen to both of you go back and forth considering the company you have both had the chance to interact.

  22. Hi Tim, thanks for the great content.

    Regarding depression (and since you’ve shown great interest in ‘alternative’ treatments for debilitating psychological issues), have you ever come across a supplement called SAM-e (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) as a method for treatment?

    Has been sold OTC (in pill form) in US since late 90s, but available for prescription in Europe since late 70s.

    Decent research has shown that it’s as effective as mainstream anti-depressants, but works faster and has fewer side effects.

    Curious why it hasn’t gained popularity (are major pharmas crushing its prospects?).

    [Moderator: link removed.]